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Is Marijuana Legal In Tennessee? Possession, Charges, & More

The global cannabis market size hit 28.266 billion dollars in 2021 and is projected to increase to 197 billion by 2028. Weed, mary jane, bud, ganja, pot, grass—whatever you choose to call marijuana (Cannabis sativa), this small but mighty plant is making headlines throughout the United States. More and more states are legalizing cannabinoids, causing new laws to be implemented.

At Andrew Beasley, we’re your trusted Nashville attorneys specializing in drug crimes. If you’re found guilty of a drug offense, you may be subject to harsh penalties, including imprisonment, hefty fines, and other consequences. Take a look at the current marijuana laws in Tennessee and stay informed of what is and is not legal when it comes to this controversial plant.

Understanding THC & CBD Levels

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are both chemicals called cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. Though similar in structure, the most important difference is that THC will cause a person to experience a high or intoxicated state of mind, while CBD does not.

CBD is most commonly found in the form of oil and is believed to help treat a variety of medical conditions, including seizures, depression, inflammation, and migraines. Under the Hemp Farming Act of 2018, all industrial hemp products, including CBD, are legal for use as long as the concentration of THC is 0.3% or less. 

THC is the psychoactive chemical of the cannabis plant. In addition to altering the user’s state of consciousness, THC has been used to treat conditions such as glaucoma, insomnia, anxiety, low appetite, and more. THC content can vary among cannabis plants, as some strains are bred to be higher in THC than others. For this reason, the state of Tennessee, among other states, has not legalized this chemical. 

Hemp vs. Marijuana

The cannabis industry has evolved drastically over the years, and with this evolution have come new strains of cannabis. Hemp and marijuana, for example, are both plants of the same species but differ in how much of a certain cannabinoid they contain. Hemp contains 0.3% or less THC, while marijuana contains more than 0.3%. Because the THC level in hemp is so low, it’s unlikely to get you high. 

The state of Tennessee has defined (and legalized) hemp—Cannabis sativa containing less than 0.3% THC. Marijuana containing greater than 0.3% THC is still illegal in this state.

Is Marijuana Legal In Tennessee? Penalty Details

The severity of the penalties you may face when convicted of a drug crime in Tennessee will depend on a wide range of factors, including the type and amount of drugs involved. The specific penalties will be impacted by the type of charge, such as:

  • Simple possession: Class A misdemeanor, carrying up to 1 year in jail and up to $2,500 in fines
  • Subsequent possession offense: Class E felony that carries up to 6 years in prison and $3,000 in fines
  • Possession of paraphernalia: Class A misdemeanor, carrying just under one year in jail and potential fines

Due to the varying forms in which marijuana can be dispensed, the laws surrounding this drug are extensive. You can be charged with an offense for possession, sale, cultivation, paraphernalia, hash, and concentrates—all of which have their own incarceration and fine details. NORML, a foundation dedicated to cannabis education, provides a detailed list of all the penalties for marijuana charges in the state of Tennessee. 

Andrew Beasley Can Advocate For You

Being charged with a drug offense is extremely serious and shouldn’t be taken lightly. The attorneys at Andrew Beasley can provide you with immediate legal assistance if you’ve been accused of possessing or distributing controlled substances. Whether you require legal representation for a recent drug charge or are looking to have a drug conviction expunged from your record, our professionals are here to walk you through all your options.

Your Nashville Drug Possession & Trafficking Attorney

The professionals at Andrew Beasley are dedicated to fighting for your rights, freedom, and future, regardless of the charges levied against you. We’re available 24/7 for your convenience and will do whatever we can to help you through this difficult time. If you or someone you know has been charged with a drug possession or trafficking crime, contact our Nashville, TN, office or call (615) 437-2559 to start devising an effective defense strategy tailored to your unique situation.